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Network Computer

Definition

A Network Computer, often abbreviated as NC, is a type of computer primarily designed to access and run applications and data over a network, rather than relying on local storage or processing. This approach allows for cost-effective, centralized management and updating of software and data. NCs are often utilized in corporate or educational settings where many users require simultaneous, consistent access to the same software or data.

Phonetic

The phonetic pronunciation of “Network Computer” is: “ˈnɛtˌwɜrk kəmˈpyutər”

Key Takeaways

Here are the three main takeaways about Network Computer:

  1. Shared Resources: Network computers are designed to be used with a network, meaning they must share resources such as files, applications and storage. They largely depend on the network for their functionality, taking advantage of a centralized, high capacity system.
  2. Cost-effectiveness: Since network computers are thin clients, they require less powerful hardware which makes them more cost-effective. In addition, they also reduce software licensing fees as most of the applications run on the server.
  3. Centralized Control: In a Network computer setup, the control of data and applications is largely centralized. This means easier administration, better control over data security, and convenience in software updates as they need to be updated only on the server.

Importance

A Network Computer, sometimes referred to as a thin client, is a term significant in the technology industry as it represents a computing model where programs run on a central server and users access them through networked devices. This model is important because it significantly reduces the cost and complexity of managing individual computers since crucial functions – such as software updates, data processing, and storage – are centralized. Additionally, due to its reliance on network connectivity and server power, Network Computers can utilize less power and have cheaper hardware compared to a traditional PC setup, making them more efficient and cost-effective. Therefore, the concept of Network Computers is a crucial element in understanding advancements in server-based computing, cloud technology, and the development of modern IT infrastructures.

Explanation

A Network Computer (NC) is a device primarily designed to provide users with access to resources available on a network. The purpose of a Network Computer is to lower computing costs by minimizing the complexity of the user’s machine. This is accomplished by shifting a majority of the memory storage, processing power, and other critical components towards a centralized server, which the Network Computer can access. In this way, a Network Computer uses the resources of the network, effectively eradicating the need for highly-spec’d individual machines, and instead, focusing on connectivity and access.Network Computers are used extensively in businesses, educational institutions, and organizations where a large number of users require access to similar resources. Additionally, Network Computers are used in environments where the need for data security and controlled access to applications is paramount. The centralized nature of NC’s allows system administrators to manage data, software updates, and security measures more effectively than in distributed systems. This reduces the need for high-level technical management at each individual user terminal, resulting in cost and time efficiency.

Examples

1. Office Workstation: In many office settings, employees work on computers that are all connected to a centralized network, often managed by a server computer. This allows for the easy sharing and transferring of information between devices and can enable the management of different access levels for various users. Furthermore, these network computers may rely on the server for software applications and data storage, which are characteristics of network computers.2. School Computer Labs: In educational institutions, computer labs are generally set up as a network of computers. These systems allow students to access the same resources and software applications, save their work on a central server, and even print documents to shared printers. Administrators can also monitor and control usage to ensure appropriate conduct.3. Cloud Computing Services: Examples include Amazon Web Services, Google Cloud, and Microsoft Azure. These cloud platforms allow businesses and individuals to use their network computers — the combined power of multiple systems in their data centers — for various computation and storage tasks. Users can access these services through the internet, thereby freeing up their local resources and ensuring data is backed up and protected.

Frequently Asked Questions(FAQ)

Sure, here you go:**Q1: What is a Network Computer?**A1: A Network Computer (NC) is a personal device or a type of computer that is designed to connect and interact with a network, either via wired or wireless connections. The key functionality of a network computer lies in its ability to access information and resources from a central server instead of its local storage.**Q2: What is the purpose of Network Computers?**A2: Network Computers are designed to run client-server software programs using a central server. The main aim is to reduce computing costs by removing the necessity of hard drives, CD-ROMs, and software applications on individual user systems.**Q3: How do Network Computers work?**A3: Network Computers are designed to connect to a network server. When a user operates a Network Computer, applications and data are loaded into the memory from the server and then executed on the Network Computer device itself.**Q4: What are the advantages of Network Computers?**A4: Network Computers provide several benefits such as lower total cost of ownership, easy software updates, improved data security, and easy hardware management since most of the necessary resources are located in a centralized location.**Q5: What are the disadvantages of Network Computers?**A5: The potential drawbacks may include network dependency, limited offline usability, potential latency issues, and loss of control over hardware resources.**Q6: Are Network Computers suitable for businesses?**A6: Yes, especially businesses with a large population of users who only need limited computing resources, such as data entry tasks. Network Computers can also be a cost-effective solution for schools and other educational institutions.**Q7: What’s the difference between a Network Computer and a Personal Computer?**A7: The main difference lies in how they store and process data. Personal Computers have inbuilt storage and primarily use their own processing power to run programs. Conversely, Network Computers use a network connection to access applications and storage on a centralized server. **Q8: Can you use Network Computers without internet?**A8: It heavily depends on the network configuration. While internet connectivity widens the scope of a network computer’s usability, they can still operate within local area networks (LAN) without internet, accessing resources in that LAN.

Related Tech Terms

  • Internet Protocol (IP)
  • Local Area Network (LAN)
  • Wide Area Network (WAN)
  • Network Interface Card (NIC)
  • Server

Sources for More Information

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